Sunday, September 13, 2009

It appears to work anyway...

In an apocryphal story about supersition, an eminent man of science is found to have a horseshoe hanging outside his door. When confronted with this anomaly, he cheerfully admits that he doesn't really believe in that kind of thing...but it appears to work anyway.

In Sophie's World the tale is assigned to Isaac Newton, who did indeed dabble in alchemy and organised religion, but I do believe it properly belongs to Nils Bohr.

This week we discovered that enough Americans don't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution to prevent the new biopic starring Paul Bettany from getting a US distributor.

Pathetic...but fear not. It appears to work anyway. This winter a good number of these idiots will go down with Tamiflu-resistant swine flu and end up a bit 'half-baked' themselves.

In the meantime here's Part 1 of last Friday's Newsnight Review special on the legacy of On the Origins of Species with guests Professor Richard Dawkins, novelist Margaret Atwood, the Reverend Richard Coles and Charles Darwin's descendent Ruth Padel. (The subsequent parts can be accessed via the YouTube menu.)

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